Venus Williams as a vegan is very different from Venus as a meat lover in more ways than you might think. For one, she has been doing a lot of cheating lately as she gave birth to the term a “cheagan.”
After being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome – an immune system illness – the famous tennis star had to give up meat as a part of diet…sometimes.
Although Williams admits she is not supposed to be eating meat at all, she revealed that she often cheats on her vegan diet by eating off of other people’s plates.
Simply because she doesn’t order any meat at a restaurant or prepare sweets for herself doesn’t mean she doesn’t seek opportunities to take a bite anyway.
“If it’s on your plate, I might get to cheat,” she admitted with a laugh. “If you’re sitting next to me, good luck. You turn your head once and your food might be gone.”
Her tendency to cave in during moments of weakness has caused the vegan Venus to refer to herself as a cheagan – a vegan who cheats.
“I think it’s pretty well known I’m a cheagan,” the seven-time Grand Slam winner said as she laughed again. “I’m not perfect, but I try.”
The entire period of her life after being diagnosed with the immune illness is a brand new chapter for the vegan tennis champion who calls the new chapter of her life “Venus A.D.” or Venus after Diagnosis.
The new Venus A.D period in her life means that more things have changed other than what she eats every day.
She was diagnosed with the illness back in 2011 and ever since then she has had to find ways to cope with shortness of breath, fatigue, and even muscle pain.
The unusual symptoms even forced Williams to withdraw from her second-round match at the 2011 U.S Open and going on a hiatus from tennis for seven months.
After getting used to her new diet and coping with the symptoms of the illness, Venus made quite the comeback; but as any athlete may tell you not having meat in your diet can sometimes be a bad thing.
The major protein source has many nutrients that helps some star athletes stay strong and build muscle, and although vegan Venus has still been doing an amazing job she isn’t performing quite as strongly as she used to.
Her last game – her Australian Open match against Galina Voskoboeva – definitely went her way as she took victory quickly away from the hands of her opponent despite her new diet and illness.
“She’s back and she’s fiery,” the announcer exclaimed during Venus’ match.
The 25th-seeded tennis player took command of the game early on with a 5-1 lead and dominated both sets in a short amount of time.
“Obviously it’s nice to spend less time on the court, and not be in long sets,” Williams said as she came out victorious after the match.
At the same time, even she didn’t feel like the victory was strictly due to her own talents on the court.
“I don’t think my opponent quite got the hand of – you know, it’s hard to play the first match in a major, first thing of the year, and that can be a lot of pressure,” she said of 80th-ranked Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan. “I did my best to just close it out.”
She proved that she is still a force to reckon with and one of the best in her sport, but Venus as a vegan still has underperformed Venus before her diagnosis.
It’s been two years since she made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam, and she is still yet to match her 2003 performance at the Australian Open.
Even with her new challenges at hand, however, vegan Venus is still a tennis superstar with the stats to prove it.